Mark Hartel

Sableye Garbodor Expanded

“Day Two-Na” – The Case for Sableye/Garbodor in Daytona

Hey guys! Daytona is only moments away, so here's a last minute metagame analysis of Expanded. Fortunately Alex has covered the most important decks here in Night March, Turtonator/Volcanion, Turbo Dark, Golisopod variants and Gardevoir GX, Yveltal. Between those he's gone over most of the Top 8 of the Bilbao Special Event that was held last weekend, as that was won by Nico Alabas with Turtonator/Volcanion.
Raichu

“Fun to play…but only for you” – Heatmor/Raichu/Victini Analysis

Last weekend I was at a Standard League Cup having a good time, when I saw someone next to me who didn't seem to be having one. The reason for this was because he was unable to attack every turn while his opponent was getting back things from the discard pile. Wondering if he managed to sneak a Sableye/Garbodor deck into a Standard event, I looked at what was across the field, but the colors on the field just didn't match the usual dark and psychic that you'd see with Sableye/Garbodor. Instead, there was a bunch of red and yellow...
Ho-oh

“Burning Bugs” – Taking a Look at Ho-oh/Salazzle and Golisopod/Garbodor

Hey guys! So last weekend was the first Regional Championship in Europe with the most recent Standard ruleset in effect, and the playerbase got a pretty good look at what the greatest minds in the game were willing to bring in this format if there is real money on the line. Unsurprisingly, the star Pokémon of the weekend all have their name start with a G: Garbodor, Gardevoir, and Golisopod.
Gardevoir

“How to Survive the Rotation” – Musings on the New Standard Format

Hey guys! Fort Wayne kicked off the first Regional of the season for a lot of players, and in the process it took away a bit of focus from the Standard format. But now it's over and the proper hunt for strong Standard decks can begin. Now, deck builders will not just have to cope with the results of the World Championships but also the loss of a full year's worth of sets that eliminates not only a good number of archetypes but also a couple of important staples.
Trevenant

“Extinct and Excavated” – Expectations for Expanded

Hey guys! The World Championships are right behind us and as much as I'd love to discuss what the results mean for tournaments coming up, we have a more urgent matter on our hands: Fort Wayne Regionals are right around the corner on September 2nd and 3rd. That means we have a limited amount of time and article space to help you prepare, so I'm going to leave Standard be for a tad.
Decidueye/Ninetales Deck

“The Owl and the Fox” – Decidueye/Ninetales for Worlds

Hey guys! If you’re reading this you are probably not at the World Championships right now, but you might be at home eagerly anticipating the stream and its results. The format seems to be wide open and it seems like any player with almost any deck could make it through the gauntlets of Day 1 and Day 2. One deck that I think deserves at least a bit of coverage before the event kicks off, and that’s Decidueye/Ninetales, also known as “Decidueye without Vileplume.”
Volcanion

“Putting the Burning Back in Burning Shadows” – Volcanion Analysis

Hey guys, The World Championships are less than a week away, and the entire Pokémon community seems to be excitedly trying to see what the best decks are with the addition of Burning Shadows. Pokémon.com has published their own piece with what they expect to be the most likely successful ones. Their assessment of the best decks seems to be similar to my own: that Burning Shadows is not going to add too many new archetypes to the format...
Espeon Garbodor Deck

“Final Performance in the New Season” – Liverpool Preview & Preparations and Reinventing Espeon/Garbodor

Hey guys! At the time of writing, Liverpool Regionals is on the horizon. It’s a bit of a strange tournament: it’s in the pre-Burning Shadows format that we all know and love, but the Championship Points count for the new season. Because of that, it’s a great way to get ahead in the Championship Point race. During the 2016-2017 season, players with early successes could take advantage of a “snowball effect” where a quick lead in Championship Points could get you a travel stipend handed out after the first quarter of the season.
Typhloshion

On a Break – Introduction to Legacy

Hey guys! As has been mentioned before in a couple of different articles before, right now the interests of the Pokémon playerbase are rather divided. There’s no less than three standard formats that you could possibly want to be playtesting in right now. Either you are going to Liverpool Regionals or some other kind of pre-Burning Shadows tournament so you’re basically still playing current format..
Shaymin Set Up

“Round and Around” – A Close Look at the Effects of the Rotation

Hey guys! Just the other day, Pokémon finally announced the rotation for the next season! Like how a lot of people predicted, they decided to go with BREAKthrough onwards, not wanting to split the BREAK sets in two. This means that for the 2017-2018 season, we’re losing three main sets: Ancient Origins, Roaring Skies, Primal Clash, as well as the mini-set Double Crisis.
Pokemon TCG Cheating

Why You Should Let Your Partner Cheat On You

Hey guys! Internationals is now fully behind us and for most players that means either focusing on the World Championships, or taking a well-deserved break from competitive play until the next Regional. For most Europeans, that would be the Liverpool Regional Championships at the end of July, about three weeks from the moment of writing this. During this time period, we’ll be busy covering the last few things that are there when it comes to this metagame.
Indianapolis Pokemon Intercontinental

North American Internationals Update

Hey guys! At the time of writing North American Internationals is inbetween the first two days. I’ve been keeping myself up to date through the stream (pokemon.com/live is the easiest link to remember it by) and Facebook, but I thought I’d give everyone else at home a quick recap of what’s been visisbly doing well. I don’t have a complete impression of the field since I’m not there and Pokémon’s official coverage is only listing deck types instead of showing decklists.